There are a few posts I’ve been remiss in not yet writing. I want to write a recap of my July Eat the Frog challenge (which I loved), I want to finish the draft I’ve started of my Mammoth Running Escape vacation in California (which I also loved), and I want to write about my goals for the month of August. Unfortunately, that last one is really hard for me right now.
My planned goal for the month of August was to train to break my PR (21:39) in the 5K. I was really pumped about potentially achieving that, and excited to give it everything I had in the attempt. But last Monday, I tripped on a rock and totally bit the dust on a trail run in California. At the time, I didn’t think it was a big deal. It was bleeding like crazy for the rest of my run, but it hadn’t really hurt much and I thought I had managed to catch myself as I fell. Later that day, I cleaned it out pretty well with soap and water, and then the next night when I got back to Adam’s house, we dosed it up with plenty of Neosporin, which I’ve continued to apply every day since. It looked pretty gnarly, and it hurt at night when the sheets would brush the wound while I slept, but I thought it would just be fine with a little bit of healing time.
Unfortunately, instead of getting better, it seems to be getting worse. This weekend I found myself waking up in the night due to the pain, and on Monday, the redness around the wound started expanding. I gave it a day from that redness expanding, to make sure it wasn’t something about the air pressure on the plane that threw it off, and then headed to urgent care Tuesday night after work.
As I expected, the doctor said my leg is infected, and prescribed me antibiotics to kill the infection. But the unexpected part was that he seemed rather concerned. He measured the wound carefully, and told me that I needed to make sure it didn’t spread a few more inches down into my ankle joint, or else I’d need to be admitted to the hospital. Yikes! (PS: A special thank you to all my friends/coworkers who have confirmed my irrational fears with stories of people you know who have lost limbs due to infection.)
Of course, the part I am most upset by is not the fact that I have a mildly serious injury (that could get way worse), but the fact that I’m forbidden to exercise for one week. (I’m also not allowed to drink alcohol, but at least that part is easily explained by the antibiotics.) I’m not entirely sure why I can’t work out, but the doctor was very explicit on that point of my care, even when I begged. And while I might have no shame in repeatedly asking him how soon I can get back to the gym/mountains, I’m not actually going to break doctor’s orders and risk worsening my injury – so resting for a week it is.
Now, obviously I know that one week off is nothing in the grand scheme of things. However, I’m frustrated to have an entire week taken out of my already-probably-too-aggressive-goal to PR in a month. Plus, I really miss working out – that’s how I relieve the stress of my job and start each day feeling accomplished!
No matter what my feelings on the plan of care, I’m sticking to them. So: one day of not exercising down; six more to go. I am counting down the days until this thing is healed and I can pound the pavement again! Meanwhile, I now have a lot more empathy for what people like Adam and Susan are going through, where their injuries aren’t allowing them to run as they’d like. As soon as I’m back on my feet, I’m dedicating a run to them.